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BUZZ WORDS by Buzz Bezanson
Some people count time, others make time count. When you work for a pay check, you are told how you will spend your time -- when to arrive and when to leave. When you are self-employed YOU decide how your day goes. For most self-employed entrepreneurs, time is their most valuable asset. If you charge for your time, it is all you have to sell.
But as many self-employed people will quietly testify -- operating your business out of your home contains a number of alluring distractions that put your will power and efficiency to the test.
In the bad old days, I used to be up, scrubbed and out the door in 45 minutes. Now it often takes me at least that time to get from the bedroom to the office. Of course I arrive at my home office under less stress and my eyes are not blurred from peering through a rainy windshield. I have, however, idled away precious time.
Avoiding the distractions and interruptions of working at home is critical to the success of your business. Naturally, if you are the principal money maker and the principal home maker, your work day is obviously a mix of talents and distractions. Planning meals that can cook while you work or explaining to corporate clients that the peeps from your clothes dryer are workers outside your door are challenges you already know.
The trick is balance. An office that is a pigpen is no place to work, nor is a spotless home with little time for clients. What's more, the effective use of your time may not mean making the most money possible all the time. Another factor to take into account: doing everything for yourself takes time and probably costs you more money than you save.
Although pleasure and profitability don't always go hand in hand, a healthy cash flow is usually an asset to some of life's good times. Your financial goals are the chief indicator of when you can stop. For example, if you meet your goals through four billable hours of work per day or 20 hours a week, take the rest of the day off. Take the kids to the park or treat yourself to a lazy afternoon.
In my case, and I suspect in few others, cash flow, and consequently free time, can be increased by strict attention to time-wasters. The old expression, if you want something done ask a busy person is so true. Just think what you can accomplish in a few minutes or hours when you know that a deadline or your spouse's mother is about to arrive shortly.
Now apply that focus and energy to your work. Improve your effectiveness by subcontracting. (Enterprising readers take note. One of the best sources of work is doing things that other people don't want to do or have little time to do.) Good help, once found, will save your time, increase profits, and overall make you happier. And don't forget that most subcontracting is a tax deduction.
Remember. While there is lots of it, time can't be preserved. You can't make more. You can't buy more. You can only use the time you have wisely, and it takes lots of self-discipline. Do what you do best. Learn to say NO. Eliminate time wasters. Master this and increased profits plus better time management will be yours.
Buzz Bezanson is a successful author and seminar leader based in Surrey, BC, Canada. For more information on his books and seminars, Buzz may be reached at 6432 188 Street, Surrey, B.C. V3S 8V1 Phone 604-576-4783.
Other articles by Buzz Bezanson:
Self Employment Can Offer a Secure Future
Checklist of Opportunities
Back to CRAFTLINK Taking Care of Business
Back to CRAFTLINK Professional Panel
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